We learned about the fantastic work Calcutta Rescue are doing during a call with the head teacher Ananya Chatterjee in August. Calcutta Rescue helps thousands of people living in Kolkata’s poorest settings, focusing on healthcare, education and living standards. The UK based Helga Todd Teachers Education Foundation contacted CET to discover how our Teach2030 programme could help the teachers working with children in 12 of Kolkata’s most impoverished neighbourhoods. , Like many schools, in many countries since the pandemic, the Calcutta Rescue school has only been open sporadically since March 2020. Although they immediately started exploring online learning, including using WhatsApp, it was clear that many learners were still unable to access digital learning from their homes. The charity supplied 50 smartphones and data to the communities, enabling children to keep learning, even if they were sharing smartphones on a rota system.
Children are still not back in schools yet, but the NGO has show true innovation by creating ‘Education on Wheels’. This is a learning bus that travels to the densely populated areas where pre-school children live (who have been completely unable to access any digital learning due to their age), and deliver socially distanced learning sessions to small groups of children each week. Unsurprisingly attendance is 100%!
Teachers will access Teach2030 courses over a two year period, exploring the topics, activities and strategies in depth, enabling steady and continued teacher development. ms Chatterjee told us how much she was looking forward to supporting the teachers to ‘work in pairs, shared learning is at the heart of this new initiative’. Music to our ears! We will keep you updated on the impact for both teachers and learners from our partnership with Calcutta Rescue.
Thank you to the Helga Todd Teachers Foundation for making this partnership possible.